Senegal welcomes a new stadium after crashing high following its Africa Cup win

Senegal welcomes a new stadium after crashing high following its Africa Cup win ...

DIAMNIADIO, Senegal, February 22 - Following the national team's victory in the Africa Cup of Nations this month, Senegal on Tuesday inaugurated a new 50,000-seat stadium in a ceremony attended by African and European state officials and global sporting dignitaries.

The Abdoulaye Wade Stadium, which was partially constructed in Turkey in Senegal's new showpiece city, Diamniadio, is part of a campaign by President Macky Sall to improve the West African country's infrastructure.

The stadium, which will host the Summer Youth Olympics in 2026, was filled with enthusiastic fans expressing their admiration for Senegal's green, yellow, and red flag.

Presidents of Liberia, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia, Rwanda, Turkey, and Germany were all present, as well as Gianni Infantino, the president of FIFA, and African soccer greats Didier Drogba and Samuel Eto'o.

During the inauguration of the Turkish-built soccer stadium in Diamniadio, Senegal, on February 22, 2022, REUTERS/Dione Ngouda

"Our valiant lions will remember Africa and the world's conquest," Sall told the crowd in this beautiful den.

Senegal, led by Liverpool forward Sadio Mane, claimed their first Africa Cup of Nations title by defeating Egypt on February 6th.

Senegal's latest high-profile infrastructure project is the stadium, named after former president Abdoulaye Wade, whom Sall defeated in a bitterly contested 2012 election.

In 2018, a basketball arena being built opposite the stadium was completed, and a $1.3 billion commuter rail was inaugurated in December.

Sall's opponents have expressed concern that these initiatives will benefit average citizens as much as Senegal's modest elite.

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